2010 PR People Awards: Public Affairs Professional of the Year

Winner: Marguerite Tortorello

SVP, Public Affairs, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Marguerite Tortorello leads advocacy initiatives and reputation management at PCI through traditional and social media, grassroots efforts and strategic positioning. Her recent efforts have been centered around the Dodd-Frank Act for financial services regulatory reform, about which PCI led a multifaceted campaign to ensure the home, auto and business insurance sectors would be affected as minimally as possible.

Under her purview, the PR team advanced this agenda through messaging research; paid, earned, digital and social media; third-party policy research; sponsorship of key events; and engagement of C-suite executives. Advocacy efforts included finding experts to be prominently featured in the news, and commissioning a study of financial services regulatory reform that garnered significant media coverage across platforms. —CO

Greatest mentor: “While at the White House, Karl Rove provided sage communications counsel which I have strived to embed in all my work. Karl emphasized using facts and research in your strategy, being fiercely disciplined in your messaging and keeping the consumer at the center of your work.”

Honorable Mentions:

Ray Steen, Marketing Director, General Dynamics Information Technology

Ray Steen has developed brand recognition for MC4, the army’s first product management office, through a new logo and clarified messaging, resulting in over 100 media placements.

Huw Williams, President, Impact Public Affairs

Huw Williams helped the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) keep advocacy initiatives at the forefront, developing a proactive media strategy that led to the broadest coverage in the association’s history.